Remember when you were in high school and your friend invited you to his garage or basement to listen to his band play, and you went, and the band was actually really good and then that guy was the coolest guy at school for the next 3 years and got all the girls and you were really jealous but you couldn’t hate him because he was just so cool? Okay, maybe this doesn’t actually happen outside of teen dramas on television, but after listening to Your History Defaced, this is how I imagine school must have gone for every member of England’s Cross Wires.
The guys in Cross Wires are realists in every sense of the word. During the EP’s opening moments singer Jonathan Chapman proclaims he’ll never understand modern art and really hates the whole concept in general. Elsewhere is a happy little diddy about a girl who “knew that she was getting old when all the places she used to have sex in after clubs were being knocked down.” Chapman’s voice is not classically fluid or appealing, but there’s a conviction in the way he delivers his tirades about girls and the world that’s hard to ignore.
The music is basic but incredibly catchy and very driving. On the stellar third track “Tab Clear” they throw in a subtle rhythm change that shows their prowess at songwriting. The fifth track “Vultures”, a song the band had previously released as a teaser for the album features a wonderfully uncomfortable guitar hook. Basically ever song here is really fun, really cool, and very playable in almost any party environment. Drummer Ian Clarke does a great job keeping the energy up through some very tastefully placed and quickly executed fills.
It’s hard to hate on an EP for being too short, because that kind of comes with the territory, but I really would have liked a little more from Cross Wires on this outing. They’re so charming and engaging that 15 minutes really isn’t enough. That’s my only complaint though, so I’m going to go ahead and say that Your History Defaced is a huge success that I would recommend to almost anyone with ears.
Written by Syd Ghan